A-Z

Interview 06

Age at interview: 37
Age at diagnosis: 36
Brief Outline: He is currently receiving psychotherapy, mainly for his HIV diagnosis and sexual assault. On benefits, he keeps himself busy, and is positive about life and returning to work.
Background: A gay male who was diagnosed in 2004 after being sexually assaulted. He had a severe sero-conversion illness requiring hospitalisation, and has been off work since then.

More about me...

Age at interview' 37

Age at diagnosis' 36

Sex' Male<
 

HIV positive can be judged as having been 'promiscuous', which is unfair.

Text only
Read below

HIV positive can be judged as having been 'promiscuous', which is unfair.

HIDE TEXT
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I just think that, if you're not positive in the gay scene, [people think] it's for the pure reason that you haven't been promiscuous, you've sort of pretty much taken care of yourself. And I think that most people, and I think I was probably the same, you sort of tar people with the same brush, that they must be promiscuous or that they're always going to sex clubs and all the rest of it. You don't allow for the fact that people get infected by other means other than, you know, consensual sex. You know, through, I don't know, stick injuries, and drug users and, mother's-baby and whatever, and sexual assault.

 

It is not easy applying for - or existing on - benefits.

It is not easy applying for - or existing on - benefits.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
Well for me it just involved talking to people from the CAB, Citizens' Advice Bureau. And what they were saying was pretty much, you know, common sense stuff anyway, that I could have done anyway. So while you're waiting that two week period to see them, you could have got the ball rolling anyway. So, as far as that's concerned that was, that was hard, you know, because it meant another two weeks without cash coming in. 

It's hard, really hard. It's '71 a week, and you're paid fortnightly and, you know, this is the hardest time of year really, because you've got your gas bill, your electric bill, your water rates, you've got your TV licence, you know, everything has come in, and it's tough.

I'm not 100% with it all so far, but you have to be on you know, the '71 benefit for a certain amount of weeks before you qualify for a higher rate of it. And also you can apply for, I think it's called DLA (Disability Living Allowance), which is like an assisted sort of care component I think it is. But it's all just a bit of a minefield you know, the CAB have been good, and they've filled out what I need to do, but it's just the waiting game now, for it all to come in.

 

He likes the way that his consultant and his psychologist communicate with each other.

He likes the way that his consultant and his psychologist communicate with each other.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I think [pause] because I'm seeing both psychology and the consultant, I think the best help is that they both talk to each other. That the communication's there, so if I go in one week and see my consultant, the following week my psychologist knows why I went in. And that makes it a lot easier, if the communication's there that's fine. I know a few people that I've met since, that they don't want the psychologist knowing what the consultant knows, and vice versa. But there are no secrets really to it, and I can't see the point repeating yourself, for repeating sake.

 

Seroconverted after his drink was spiked at a bar and he was sexually assaulted.

Seroconverted after his drink was spiked at a bar and he was sexually assaulted.

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
My diagnosis wasn't so much a shock because I knew pretty much from elimination that I probably was HIV positive. I was sexually assaulted in March of this year a month before I was due to move to London. One of my little weekend visits turned into a bit of a Rohypnol nightmare. So from that point to this it's, it's quite an interesting sort of road really, that I've sort of come up. But I started to seroconvert the week leading up to Christmas, which obviously I didn't know at the time, I just thought it was flu, but it was one of those flus that you just couldn't move, just laying about, just being pathetic. And phoning friends to do your shopping and all of that'

 

Says people should avoid allowing HIV to take over their lives and explains what they should...

Says people should avoid allowing HIV to take over their lives and explains what they should...

SHOW TEXT VERSION
PRINT TRANSCRIPT
I'm just trying to come up with some kind of little nutshell really for anyone who's just sort of been diagnosed really. The main thing is just to remember who you are. Don't forget where you've come from, your family, your friends and things like that. And don't lose sense of where you are going either' Keep focus because HIV can take you over. If you just focused everything, you know, all your energy on HIV, I think it could overrun your mind as well as your body. But if you stay focused and know exactly what you want out of life, and a lot of people don't know what they want out of life, regardless of if you're HIV or not. But I think it's a time to take stock, to sit back, think about what you want, and get on with it.

Previous Page
Next Page